Brussels, 6-7 May 2009

“‘Normative Power’ and External Policies – The European Union in a New Global Order”


The Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA), Brussels, and the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael, The Hague, are organizing a roundtable conference on “‘Normative Power’ and External Policies – The European Union in a New Global Order” in Brussels, 06-07 May 2009.


The conference concerns the changing international political order and the role and relevance of the European Union as a normative power. The rise of new powers, a shift of wealth and (economic) capabilities from the West to the East, an ongoing process of economic globalisation, a gathering economic crisis and an increasing influence of non-state actors of various kinds define the uncertain current international order. Although the US may remain the dominant international actor, influence and power in this multi-polar system will be increasingly dispersed. This will result in an international order and a security agenda, which is more complex, more unpredictable, and probably more risky than we have experienced thus far.


The conference will thus focus on the role and relevance of the European Union in this new global context. It will discuss the consequences and implications of this emerging new global order for the international position and external policies of the EU. More specifically, the conference will address the question of the role and relevance of the EU as a ‘normative power’ in international relations, how it is perceived from the US, Russia and China and which practical challenges lay ahead. Please find the recent version of the programme attached.


The conference brings together representatives from the academic and the policy-making communities, combining a scholarly perspective, which discusses the concept of normative power in international relations theory and practice, with a policy-relevant perspective, which focuses on the (future) relevance of normative/soft power in global relations, with a special emphasis on the EU.


Participation by invitation only.